THE PURPOSE OF THE TAX SALE
The Tax Sale is for the purpose of forced collection of delinquent property taxes for a specific year. The opening bidding opens with the Tax Collector submitting the opening bid on behalf of the Forfeited Land Commission (FLC), according to state law 12-51-55 of the SC Code of Laws. Unless someone else submits a higher bid, the successful bidder does not receive a tax deed of any right to possession, and their interest in the property does not vest until after the expiration of the redemption period. The redemption period is one year and a day.
CONDITIONS OF SALE
The sale is an open auction. Properties are sold in alphabetical order according to the taxpayer’s last name. Research property before you bid on it!!! As with any “buyer beware purchase” the burden falls on you to check the condition of the properties you want to bid on. The County must sell all properties that have delinquent taxes. Ditches, private roadways, and small strips of land are taxable and can therefore be included in the tax sale.
All bid payments, tax deed fees, mobile home bill of sale fees and county liens is applicable must be made before the end of the auction. Payments must be made by cash, cashier’s check, money order, wire transfer, credit card or debit card. There is a 1.5 % fee added to each credit/debit card transaction. A tax sale receipt will be issued to the bidder. Failure to comply in paying your bid will result in a $300.00 fine per bid, which will be pursued through magistrate court.
You cannot do anything with the property you bid on until you are issued a tax deed. Real property has a 12 month redemption period. If you are the winning bidder, the property can be redeemed by the current owner/mortgage holder for up to one year after the date of the sale. Once a property is redeemed, the bidder will be notified by mail. At that time, the tax sale receipt must be returned to the Treasurer’s Office for a refund of the bid plus the applicable interest. The interest paid shall not exceed the opening bid amount.
The interests are calculated as follows:
- First three months 3% of bid
- Four, five, and six months 6% of bid
- Seven, eight, and nine months 9% of bid
- Last three months 12% of bid
Mobile homes also have a 12 month redemption period. However, before the mobile home can be redeemed, rent must be satisfied with the bidder. According to state law, monthly rent cannot be more than 1/12(one twelfth) of the base amount of the delinquent year’s tax. The only involvement of the delinquent tax collector in the rental process is to require proof of such payments having been paid and received before the redemption period is complete. This would be by statement of the successful bidder. Such statements should be presented by the defaulting taxpayer at the time the property is to be redeemed.
DEED/MOBILE HOME BILL OF SALE-COUNTY LIENS PROCESS
If real property is not redeemed, a tax deed is issued to the successful bidder. The person officially charged with the collection of delinquent taxes will issue an attorney prepared tax deed and/or a mobile home bill of sale from the tax collector. The fee for a tax deed is $ 175 and the fee for a mobile home bill of sale is $ 15. The tax deed preparation fee and mobile home bill of sale fee must be paid along with your bid payment prior to the end of the auction. All deed stamp fees must be paid prior to the deed recording. A tax sale does not erase liens that may be currently attached to the property. If the property is sold at the tax sale, the successful bidder will have to also pay any outstanding county liens. A tax deed is not a warranty deed. If property is not redeemed, the successful bidder will be required to pay mobile home registration fees with county and SC DMV fees.
VOIDED TAX SALE
Tax sales can be voided at any time prior to the issuance of a tax deed. If a sale is voided, the bidder will be refunded his/her bid money and the actual interest earned. If the tax payer pays their property taxes at anytime during the tax sale, the sale will also be voided.
The Tax Sale is held in accordance to S.C. Code of Laws Title 12 Section 51.